Both the Defense and the Prosecution on the trial of Former US President Trump rested their case yesterday. The US Political Cartoonists shared some thoughts throughout the week:
As a public defender, I couldn't even use the same bathroom as jurors during a trial. https://t.co/WvdjD2YM6d— Eliza Orlins (@elizaorlins) February 12, 2021
The federal government's 2021 deficit, at $2.3 trillion, will be the second-largest annual deficit since World War II, the Congressional Budget Office projected Thursday.
Trump ignited it. Only he could stop it. Repubs Don't Care
By Marc Cooper
Feb 11-12, 2020
The prosecution in the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump has rested after presenting two days of blistering, incontrovertible evidence about the gross criminality of his followers on January 6th and the former president’s clear-cut responsibility in laying the groundwork for the assault on the Capitol, its execution and its bloody aftermath.
The prosecution arguments, absolutely brilliantly presented, and led by the mensch named Jamie Raskin, were so devastating that if this were a trial in the real world as opposed to one in the alternative universe of the US Senate, this is the moment when the defense would stand down and would huddle with the prosecution and the judge to craft a plea deal.
They would do so to contain the damage wrought, knowing that a conviction and a lot of hard time were coming their way.
Unfortunately, the odds for conviction remain as long as Pinocchio’s nose because this Senate “trial” comes packed with a jury that not only includes some targets of the Capitol assault, but more importantly, many of Trump’s dead-end loyalists who are also his long-time enablers and co-conspirators. To admit that Trump is guilty in the incitement of the Capitol insurrection would attest to their own guilt for being his faithful lackeys for these past four long years.
These Republican Senators, just like the rest of us, learned a lot more about this siege than we have previously known thanks to the House managers. No wonder so many of them like Cruz and Rubio pretended to ignore the videos, while Sen. Josh Hawley retired to the second floor gallery and put his feet up on the rails, probably painting his fingernails.
We learned that Trump critic and Utah Senator Mitt Romney had been unknowingly walking toward the mob when his bodyguards quickly turned him around and got him into a safer room.
Never seen before footage revealed then Vice-President Mike Pence also narrowly escaping the out-of-control mob after Trump singled him out in a tweet, an hour after the assault started. The Trumpanzees were actually hunting for him as they were for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
Dozens of congress members, we learned, were a mere 50 feet and one door away from the surging mob when they were evacuated out a back entrance. We saw Chuck Schumer hurrying down one basement hall with his security detail, only to have to do a U-turn to not run right into the mob who was searching for him. But, ironically, Mike Pence, loyal poodle to Trump for four years, had suddenly become Public Enemy Number One to the rioters.
David Corn writes in Mother Jones:
We also saw that this was a much more savage, much more violent, much more dangerous attack than we previously had thought. The new footage from inside the Capitol, from police body cams and Capitol surveillance cameras, revealed the mob as more or less crazed. I don’t think there’s a better word for it.
A violent mass that would pick up any chant at any moment and who were determined to get onto the congressional floor and stall, disrupt, or terminate the certification of the November 3 election that was taking place that day in a joint session of Congress. On video, these insurrectionists looked like the mutant spawn of The Walking Dead and Planet of the Apes.
No doubt that some if not many of those who waltzed into the Capitol that horrible day are not affiliated with any fascist groups like the Proud Boys, but they were effectively led by them and other hardened elements who had planned this attack for weeks if not months.
The Senators from what they like to call the Law and Order Party were treated to one video after another clearly showing members of their “base” spitting on, beating, clubbing and jabbing the Capitol Police and DC Metro cops. And that’s not to speak of the officer who was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher, and the two others driven to suicide after the fiasco that day, or the near 150 law enforcement officers that were injured in the melee.
The impeachment managers also did a terrific job in laying out a timeline that shows Trump endorsing violence on several public occasions going back to his original 2016 campaign when he encouraged his rally-goers to “knock the crap” out of any protesters who might show up.
Add to that the Fayetteville Nazi march that he declared was full of good people and his endorsement recently of a Texas caravan of his supporters trying to run a Biden campaign bus off the road.
More importantly, Trump paved the way for this insurrection by declaring the 2020 election rigged before it even took place – a sure indicator he knew he was going to get stomped. The propagation of this Big Lie, which he continues to stoke even today, is the underlying cause of this revolt and Trump played it for all its worth.
He had to be fully aware that a coalition of neo-fascist and militia groups had months in advance declared January 6 to be D-Day, and this coming confrontation was amply circulated for weeks on conservative social media.
No accident that Trump spent a whopping $50 million in advertising for his own January 6 rally in Washington D.C. He knew damn well with Congress meeting that day to rubber stamp the electoral college results, this was going to be his last chance to disrupt or overturn the election he lost. Everything else he had tried had failed and while trying to physically obstruct the certification was a hare-brained strategy he nevertheless went along with it.
Two other quick points: what did Trump intend when he tweeted out the invitation to his January 6 rally promising that he would be “wild?”
And even more crucial, the permit that was secured for his rally on the Ellipse expressly prohibited any march. When he launched the march on the Capitol, Trump was in direct violation of the rally permit he had secured.
My view is that he is probably not engaged enough in anything to have sat down with the Proud Boys to figure out in detail what exactly was planned or what would happen when his hooligans reached the Capitol.
Trump was probably satisfied enough knowing that with so many loyal crazies out in front they would stir up something sufficiently ugly even if he was not sure what it would be or what it would lead to. It’s as if he just decided to roll a five ton bowling ball down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol and let the walls tumble as they may.
It’s really a disservice to reality to extend much more legal argument about this incident. In his closing remarks Thursday, Jamie Raskin summed it up perfectly saying this whole issue is a matter of “common sense.”
Trump stoked the idea of a rigged election for most of the past year and into the pot-election period. He never has conceded his defeat. He was fully aware of the volatility of the crowd he assembled on January 6. He was perfectly comfortable that it was peppered with fascists. He unleashed the crowd, and as it broke into the Capitol, beating up the cops in their path, he did nothing to stop it.
On the contrary, an hour into it is when he fingered Pence in a tweet and a minute later the mob inside the Capitol started chanting “Hang Mike Pence!.”
He refused to ever authorize the National Guard to assist the police who were vastly outnumbered (it was Pence who finally put out the call). It was only after 2 hours into the rampage that he issued a weak tea tweet telling the protesters to go home. Not only did he never condemn any of them (true up through today) his final tweet to the Trumpanzees four hours after the breach, was to thank them, call them very “special people” who he loved and told them that this had been a day so glorious that they should remember it forever.
Probably the same as you, I have run out of words to describe the vast majority of Republican senators who will undoubtedly vote to acquit (if they don’t we will have an entirely different political landscape before us). All of this turmoil comes down to one very simple proposition that has nothing to do with the legal arguments back and forth. Simply put, do Senate Republicans want to take advantage of this moment to fully rid themselves of the radioactive albatross that is Donald J. Trump or do they want to continue to abide and concede.
Mostly, they are scared stiff of their enraged base that has been steadily radicalized since Reagan and turbo-charged with hatred and fear by Trump. They have every reason to be afraid as something like 70% of Republicans polled after the first day of the trial still wanted Trump acquitted. And an amazing 40% of them said political violence was just fine in certain circumstances.
On Friday, Trump’s Abbot & Costello defense team will come up with a half dozen or so bogus excuses to acquit Trump, none of which will be based on the facts of the case. Who knows what lines of distraction and BS they will come up with? Indeed, if they were honest about their task, the defense lawyers would bring in a crew of highway engineers as the only real challenge in front of them is to manufacture enough “off-ramps” to allow the Quisling Senators to vote “their conscience” (after they Google that word to see what it means) and acquit.
Again E.J. Dionne:
One last thought. Let’s make sure to take down the names of every worthless consumer of oxygen in the Senate who votes to acquit. They should be forever reviled, rebuked, ostracized and marked as cowards and, yes, traitors. When you give license to a President to unleash a mob on Congress the day they are certifying the election he lost, treason is not too strong a word. And damn Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer if they stoop to negotiating anything at all with these cowardly and dysfunctional bags of hammers that occupy the Republican side of the aisle. They should be considered to be dead already. No concessions to them, please!
I am fully prepared for the senate to acquit. And I won’t care much because I have always known this. What is satisfying is my conviction that what we have seen this week is only the beginning of Trump wallowing in a sand trap of legal woes for years to come. It’s already started and once the Senate trial is over, it will accelerate.
Drowned out by the saturation coverage of the trial, a few days ago the District Attorney in Atlanta has announced a criminal investigation into interference with the November election and that means an investigation of Trump’s recorded phone call to the Secretary of State cajoling him to “find” another 11,780 votes so the results in Georgia would be reversed.
If he is indicted in Georgia or anywhere else, which seems likely, and if he goes to trial, there won’t be any pathetic Republican Senators on those criminal juries and he will be held accountable.